Monthly Archives: August 2002 User Update User Update

I get a lot of emails from folks wondering what it’s like to run the web’s most kickass appliance repair website. So, to help give you an idea of what I deal with, I did an analysis of my users and discovered that 93% of them are either:

  • AOL users clicking the live help button and then not saying anything because, duh hee,   they’ve got AOL;
  • the Great Unwashed Illiterati who can’t compose simple sentences much less read the information in the Appliance Repair Help Center that already has the answers they seek;
  • boneheads who don’t know that it is rude and obnoxious to write any internet correspondence, and especially chat, with the CAPS LOCK ON;
  • noodges who keep ringing me up for live help even though I’ve already told them to post their problem in the forum–but they ring back anyway, as though I owe it to them…or maybe they’re hoping to get a different person; 
  • grubby Lower Slabovians who successfully repair their appliance with the help of this website, including live help and the forum, yet refuse to even buy me a beer through the United Samurai Beer Fund;

But not to give the goobers all the spotlight, here are examples of the other 7% who shine brightly among the heaving, drooling masses:

  • MomWhoHatesColdBeer fixed her refrigerator with just a nudge in the right direction;
  • I helped the Jeep Dude fix his oven and he bought me a brewski.

And there are others, they’re just a lot harder to find. But I think you get the idea…some of you do, anyway.

Fun Facts to Know and Tell

Fun Facts to Know and Tell

Appliance Tip of the Day: Sudsing out of Your Washer Drain Stand Pipe

appliance tip of the day archive

Dammit! It happened again: you ran a load of wash and came back to find detergent suds all over the floor. What a frikkin’ mess! At first, you might suspect the washer as the culprit. But you’d probably be wrong. Oh, I know what you’re saying, “But I saw the suds pooled up on the floor right underneath the washer! I was there, you weren’t and, besides, I use my washer everyday so I know it better than you!” Ok, you’re starting to annoy me now. Press your lips firmly together for a couple minutes and you just might learn something.

Most likely what you’re dealing with here is detergent suds backing up in your washer’s drain stand pipe and running down all over the floor. Here are four simple things to do to prevent this problem from happening again:

  • Make sure that your washer stand pipe is at least 36″ tall, measured from the floor to the pipe opening.
  • Verify your drain pipe is clear of gookus and drains properly. A plumber’s snake is the essential tool for this highly cerebral operation. It’s important to remember that while a slow drain may pass clear water normally, detergent-laden water will not flow as freely and any restrictions in the pipe will cause the water to foam up even more, exacerbating the problem.
  • You’re using waaaay too much detergent. If you’re following the idiot directions on the detergent box, you’re using 2 to 4 times more detergent than you need. Not only can this cause drain pipe sudsing problems, but it gunks up the innards of your washing machine and you end up wearing all that extra detergent on your clothes, including your skivvies next to your private parts. Might give a new explanation for that persistent jock problem.
  • Install a Sudsbuster (stand pipe adapter).

Ok, you have your assignment, now get to work.

grasshoppers relaxing with the master after installing suds control measures on their washer

Mr. Appliance Fixit Boyz Hillstomp Update

Mr. Appliance Fixit Boyz Hillstomp Update

Just to rub it in to you guys who backed out, here’s the itinerary for the Mr. Appliance Fixit Boyz Hillstomp in September. See you back at the coal mines.

Day 1: Friday, September 6

the goose is loose!Everyone arrives at Brown Compound sometime in the afternoon. We’ll go through gear, make last-minute runs for supplies, as needed, and then adjourn to the Flying Goose Brew Pub for 16 oz. wrist curls where we’ll review the route and carbo-load for tomorrow’s hike. We won’t be out too late because we have to make an early start in the morning. Spacious overnight accommodations in the luxurious Jayco Hilton.

Day 2: Saturday, September 7

mt. lafayetteWe’ll leave Brown Compound around 0700 hours in two vehicles: Fishnutz’ rental and Mr. Grant’s Pickem Up truck. First stop is Wildberry Bagel Shop for morning eats and bean juice then off to the Whites. I wanted to do the AMC shuttles so we could all travel in one vehicle, but their shuttle schedule is not compatible with our route plan…or anyone else’s that I could tell. We’ll drive straight through Franconia Notch to Crawford Notch where we’ll park Mr. Grant’s Pickem Up truck at the AT trail head–our hiking route destination. Then we’ll double back to Franconia Notch to the Old Bridal Path trailhead parking lot, our beginning point. We should be on the trail at about 1000 hours for 12 miles of the meanest, nastiest, orneriest trail that mankind has ever had the misfortune to set boots on along the Franconia Ridge. We’ll arrive at the Galehead hut right about sundown, bedraggled, beaten down, limping, bleeding, and gasping for air. BOOYAH, now we be having fun, yo! After a hot dinner at the hut, we’ll commence massive consumption of pain-relieving fermented beverages while re-playing the three 4,000 footer peaks we bagged (Mts. Lafayette, Garfield, and Galehead) and the spectacular section of the Franconia Ridge we traipsed. We’ll pass out on a bare bunk mattress at about 2100 hours wondering if it’s really possible that life could be any better than this.

Day 3: Sunday, September 8

bond cliffWe’ll wake up to strumming guitar music, gorge on sausages and pancakes and be on the trail at 0900 hours. During this section of the hike, we’ll bag five 4,000 footers: South Twin Mountain, Mts. Guyot, West Bond, Bond, and Bondcliff. We’ll arrive at Zealand hut sometime before midnight, hopefully still carrying most of our gear. And there was much rejoicing.

Day 4: Monday, September 9

the goose is loose...again!Today, we hike out. Depending on how everyone is feeling, we can either be he-men and bag a couple more peaks or we can be little girly-men and take the wussy way out. Y’all already KNOW what I want to do so call the ball. We’ll get back to Mr. Grant’s Pickem Up truck and do that shuttle thang, waa-waa-waa, all the back to the renta-beater on the other side of the range. Then we adjourn to the Flying Goose Brew Pub for a post-hike debriefing. Accommodations again at the luxurious Jayco Hilton. Tuesday morning the Third Annual Fixit Boyz Hillstomp officially adjourns until next year…in ALASKA!

Live Help Update

Live Help Update

Saturday nights are usually pretty slow at the website what with most of my users out getting drunk and thrown in jail and all. That also makes it a pretty safe time to be online for Live Help this evening.

Stuck at home on a Saturday night? Bored, nothing good on TV and you’re looking for something fun to do? Well, here y’go, Hoss, just click the purple Pass It On button below to tell a friend or four about this website. It’s guaranteed to be moments of pure, belly-ticklin’ fun!  duh hee!

get this gear!

Appliance Tip of the Day: Preventing Washer Floods

this is you, grasshopperYou put a load of dirty clothes in your washer, start it up and walk away to watch Jerry Springer just like you have a thousand times before. Only this time, something goes wrong…very wrong!

After the booing and cheering on the Jerry Springer show stops, you hear an unfamiliar sound of running water coming from the laundry cubby just down the hall in your trailer. You set the bag of Doritos aside, grab your can of Old Milwaukee and grunt your way out of your Lazy Boy as you exhale the last drag of your Marlboro and shuffle down the hall to investigate. You don’t get 10 steps before your pink bunny slippers are sloshing through a huge pool of water. Now the bile starts burning the back of your throat and you feel your sphincter dilate as you prepare to do battle with the single greatest horror of your lifetime: a washer flood out.

FloodstopYes, it finally happened: your washer dutifully filled with water and then…it just kept right on filling, and filling, and filling… Turns out that the water level control switch in your washer decided to take a permanent vacation and so never told your washer to stop filling with water. Hi. Welcome to my world. Oh! But if only you’d listened to that nice appliance repair guy not long ago who told you that you really, really needed to have a Floodcontrol on your washer and that it was cheap insurance against a devastating washer overfill. But that money was earmarked for that Dish TV you’ve been lusting after for so long and, besides, you’re not sure you trust people who can throw around fancy words like "devastating." Damn straight! Well, Bubba, now you’ve got one helluva mess to clean up in your trailer, ain’t ya? Hey, newsflash: do yourself a favor and come git you some o’ dis.

Universal Stainless Steel Water Fill HoseAnd while you’re at it, go ahead and upgrade those cheesy 12-year old rubber fill hoses on your washer to the steel braided hoses. What, you’re gonna wait for those to burst and find water spraying out from behind your washer like a firehose on that ’71 Cutlass you got parked out front? Haven’t we learned our lesson by now? How long? How long? I say, how long must this bullshit go on? How ’bout when we do a job, we go ahead and do it right? Ok then, come git you some steel braided hoses, too.

grasshoppers watching jerry springer with the master while they do a load of wash confident that their trailer won't get flooded out on them because they just installed a floodcontrol.

To learn more about your washing machine, or to order parts, click here.

Live Help Update

Live Help Update

gonna git you, suckah!So, I’m getting my hiking gear together this morning for another self-torture session in the White Mountains to break in my new hiking boots when I noticed Ouzo, my canine hiking bud, was standing by my van with one eye swollen almost completely shut and one side of his mouth puffed out like he was holding a ping pong ball. Apparently, he stumbled onto a yellow jacket’s nest while foraging for those savory feline droppings so highly prized among dogs of superior breeding and refined taste.

A trip to the vet and a shot of cortisone later and it was too late in the day to head to the White Mountains. But my loss is your gain since I’ll be staying here today, off and on of Live Help, a beacon of light in your dark hour of appliance despair.  

Boot to the Head

Boot to the Head

samurai's hiking bootsMy hiking boots are the Asolo FSN 95 GTX. I bought ’em last summer and it’s been a joyous podiatric union: lightweight, highly water resistant yet breathable, and required no break-in period–they fit my feet perfectly right out of the box. After about a year of frequent hiking in the White Mountains, the tread on those puppies has worn almost flat. Since it was such sweet bliss hiking in those boots, it was a no-brainer to buy another pair of the exact same ones. Yesterday, I went for an easy little 6-mile break-in hike up Mt. Ascutney with my new replacement pair and a hotspot on my right heel made me pretty miserable. Paradise lost. I’ll keep doing self-abuse hikes in them and hope things improve before the Fixit Boyz Hillstomp in September. Yes, these are the weighty issues that occupy what precious little real estate remains inside the Samurai’s skull.

I’m sorry, did you have an appliance question?

Word Up to Mr. Appliance Franchisees

Word Up to Mr. Appliance Franchisees

the fixit boyz in banff, canadaThe Mr. Appliance Fixit Boyz have planned their Third Annual Hillstomp for September 6-9, 2002. This year, it’s easy street: we’re going hut-to-hut in the White Mountains, traversing the Franconia Ridge. Lots of you guys talked about going with us but it’s still just the four: TomScat, Fishnutz, Huh?, and yours so very truly.

Yeah, uh huh, y’all talk a big game but then back out. Well, check this: next year we’re backpacking in Alaska. Who’s with us? I can’t hear you! Ok then, start gettin’ your tool-slingin’ butts in shape now!

Live Help Update

Live Help Update

I’ll be online for live help after dinner tonight. I would be on earlier but it’s just too nice a day to be playing tippety-tap at the keyboard. Yes, today is a time for doing things with cosmic significance…like tossing the frisbee with the dog and teaching my son how to ride a bicycle.

Later for you, baby.

Appliance Tip of the Day: Sooty Burner in Your Gas Oven

this is you, grasshopperIf your gas oven burner is giving off black powdery soot, you’re flirting with potentially deadly carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Sooting is one of the tell-tale clues of incomplete combustion and is always accompanied by high levels of CO. No, Grasshopper, it is not normal for a properly adjusted gas burner to give off soot, not even a little bit.

Sooting is caused by one of three things:

  1. range not set up to burn the fuel you’re supplying (i.e., natural gas or LP);
  2. insufficient primary combustion air, usually corrected by simply opening the air shutter;
  3. too much gas — measure the gas pressure at the orifice using a manometer.

A diagram of how gas burner flames should and should not look is here.

the bamboo reveals all
Soot in my oven.
The Wolf rep said all is fine,
at my funeral.

grasshoppers breathing deeply the pure, CO-free air in the kitchen with the master while baking chocolate chip cookies in their gas range.